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Here's A Hybrid Idea MINI Hasn't Thought Of. Yet.

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Posted On: Jan 27, 2010 By: Category: MINI Cooper News

You're looking at a 1932 Helicron. An impractical idea, perhaps, but the motivation that inspired it is still all around us. Perhaps even more so today...

Old meets new

In the late 1930s this one-off vehicle, dubbed "The Helicron", was mothballed in a barn and forgotten. More than six decades later this odd lost little gem was rediscovered, rebuilt, and reintroduced to the world. Although the manufacturer is unknown, it's believed that this car was built-in France in 1932. Believe it or not, when the wooden propeller is spinning at full speed, this little 1,000-pound boat-tailed skiff can hit freeway speeds exceeding 75 mph. (It must play hell with your hairdo, though.)

Not a MINI, it's a hybrid from the 1930's

So why was it produced in the first place? Following the first World War it was not uncommon for recently displaced airplane engineers to look towards the automobile industry for employment. Naturally, they took what they knew and applied it to what was sure to be a more lucrative industry: ground transportation. Today, with the auto industry in flux and so many unemployed engineers out there, it is not hard to imagine that a similarly applied technology will make its way out of some makeshift garage workshop somewhere and into our collective imaginations... if not our driveways.

Although this is the one and only Helicron in existence, owned by Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, it is certainly not the only propeller-propelled car out there. And the kind of inspiration behind its creation is certainly still out there, as well.

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